With the Orlando Pride on the cusp of making their first playoff appearance in the team’s history, Head Coach Tom Sermanni reflected on his team’s season a bit after training this past Wednesday. In the early parts of the year, the team was still trying to find its identity. Marta had just signed, Alex Morgan was still in France, and the newest players had just joined the team, began training and started to connect with each other.
Through that, the team progressively improved. The team started scoring goals at a rapid pace, thanks to Marta. Then Alex Morgan came into the fold, and the offensive firepower almost doubled over the course of a few weeks. The team began to play cohesively, score even more goals, win games consecutively and put themselves in a position where they now, essentially, control their destiny when it comes to making the playoffs.
“The way that they’ve kinda kept at it when we’ve gone through some difficult times,” Sermanni said of his team’s resiliency. “We’ve had some games this year that we’ve felt we should have won, or we felt we should have drawn and we’ve kinda thrown them away or we’ve lost or drawn games that we shouldn't have and quite often that can start to eat away at the confidence of the players and generally the dynamic in and around the team. So I think probably the most pleasing thing for me is that the way everybody's stuck together and everybody's felt that if we can get this right, we’ve got a very good side and fortunately over the last five or six games we’ve started to see that emerge and hopefully that's going to continue.”
With the team heading into their final two games of the regular season, Coach Sermanni and his squad will look to lock in their spot in the four team playoff, completing the comeback story and making it all the way to the NWSL championship game.